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Album Reviews

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:10pm

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It’s best not to go into King Of The North’s new album, Get Out Of Your World, thinking this is going to be an exercise in musical banality and mindless frivolity. It all starts relatively innocuously with a few stray shards of guitar, some disparate Zep beats, a guttural blues voice and a ten-tonne LA rock riff in Rise.
 
Then there’s Get Out Of Your World,...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:08pm

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Long-term fans of Australian singer Kylie Auldist are unlikely to be surprised by her recent international chart-busting action. This Girl by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners featuring Auldist’s eternally soulful vocals may be alerting the wider public to her unique suite of talents, yet she has always produced gold-standard performances both in the studio and in the live...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:06pm

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When you've made a name for yourself almost entirely off the back of your live reputation, how do you draw people into your music away from it? This conundrum is – at least, in part – the key to explaining the half-decade-and-change it's taken for Sydney-via-Austinmer's Totally Unicorn to put out their debut album.
 
It's taken a few different approaches and...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:04pm

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Roses Always Die is a beautiful record that is shockingly sparse and sardonic in nature. Sarah Mary Chadwick, accompanied only by her own keyboard and what sounds like its factory setting drum beats, challenges the listener with her slightly tongue-in-cheek bleakness, coming across like Morrissey on ketamine and green tea.
 
Not to say the music isn’t heartfelt...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 11:53am

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French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne was renowned for his ability to merge casual anecdotes with intellectual insight. Similarly, Jessica Cerro, better known by stage name Montaigne, has an innate knack for converting her personal stories into a universal song state.
 
Taking her sound to Glorious Heights, Montaigne’s debut studio album is the result of...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:39am

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On the songwriting front, Mark Of The Blade is back to mid-tempo basics and brutal simplicity on many of the songs, anchored by Phil Bozeman's cadaverous low growl. The album isn't without its surprises, with much discussion surrounding Bozeman's decision to use clean vocals. Bring Me Home sees the band try their hand at the largely unexplored concept of the deathcore...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:37am

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If you like going to the pub in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, chances are that you’ve encountered honky-tonk aficionados, The Bakersfield Glee Club.
 
Where My Heart Broke is their third release and while they stay close to their honky-tonk roots, they do travel some more Aussie-inflected country roads.
 
Sweet Bird of Youth, the raucous,...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:35am

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As Above, So Below is the second full length release from Victoria’s Findlay sisters, and it manages to take everything they've learnt from their swift rise to success and infuse it with the sound they so diligently established on their 2013 self-titled debut.
 
Almost immediately, opening track Sister unveilsa different Stonefield compared to three years ago....

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:34am

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s Sworn Virgins is less of an album and more of a garage sale. It’s the first of 12 solo albums to be released this year. Yup, 12. The 40-year-old Puerto Rican of Mars Volta and At The Drive-In fame, has sifted through his personal works from 2008 to 2013 and laid them on the lawn.
 
If it wasn’t for the label’s mission to be “a place where...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:30am

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It’s been a fabulous year for progressive death metal, with magnificent releases from Fallujah, Black Crown Initiate and now Aussies (and adopted Canadians) The Schoenberg Automaton.
 
Initial impressions are that of an absolutely brutal, visceral experience. The music relentlessly bludgeons the listener around the head with its intensity and the vocals howl...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:28am

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On their second album, World Feels Wide, Riflebirds continue to showcase their impressive blend of genres and instrumental formations, helped by the fact they’ve got six talented musicians in the group.
 
Opening track Last Train immediately puts your mind at ease, with a sweeping country melody and vocals from Rowan Roebig, while the guitar-heavy instrumental...

Posted 27 Jul 2016 @ 11:26am

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Emma Louise has peeled back the thin veneer between herself and her audience on sophomore album, Supercry, her heart thumping off her sleeve in what can only be dubbed her most authentic record yet. The Brisbane artist takes listeners down a woman-made rabbit hole of hauntingly beautiful vocals and electro-pop melodies.
Produced with absolute precision, Supercry’s...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:58am

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Trust Punks hail from New Zealand, though their sound has more in common with the post punk sounds from Britain in the late '70s than the ‘Dunedin Sound’ that NZ bands are inevitably always compared to. Double Bind is the band's second album, steeped in jarring, angular tones, dissonant vocal melodies and plenty of grit. If not for the metallic sheen draped over the record...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:56am

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Credit where it's due - The Getaway is a more reserved and tastefully controlled Chili Peppers album than certain overindulgent misfires of the past, with producer Danger Mouse to thank. It's gentle and almost humble, shaving vast layers of arrogance from their notoriously blunt stylings. Mouse's influence is tasty, if not overpowering, with soft patters of piano and...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:55am

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Meet Melbourne’s Meshiaak: your new favourite heavy metal supergroup. Featuring ex-4ARM frontman Danny Camilleri and Teramaze guitarist Dean Wells, alongside bassist Nick Walker and US drum demigod Jon Dette (Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Iced Earth) this alliance of metal missionaries have honed a modern sound with some classic ‘80s influences on debut, Alliance of Thieves...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:53am

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The somewhat condescending assumption that radio ready albums are ‘lesser’ than grainier, more difficult work is one that has retaken a disappointingly firm grip on contemporary culture in recent years. Just take the enormous sniff let out by critics and consumers alike when Margaret Glaspy’s Emotion And Math was picked as triple j’s album of the week, as though the...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:52am

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Almost a quarter of a century into their fight, Dreadnaught is a true Aussie heavy music institution, and they deserve nothing but respect for the persistence and determination they've shown over the years. To survive all this time against everything life and music has thrown at them is quite remarkable. Oh, and they continue to put out ridiculously strong music too, and...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:50am

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Concept albums are contemporary music’s perennially uncool uncle - antiquated, lumbering things, forever accidentally embarrassing themselves at the family dinner table. After all, for every The Suburbs there’s an American Idiot, and even bands creating singularly-minded albums like King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s Nonagon Infinity tend to avoid invoking the dreaded ‘...

Posted 20 Jul 2016 @ 10:49am

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Nick Cave once remarked that sadness is a natural emotion, a psychological state that can only be defined by reference to pleasant times. For Stephen Fry, the lows of his polarised psychological existence are devastating beyond comprehension; conversely, the highs are a thing of shining brilliance. Theologians will note that God created light out of dark; one cannot exist...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:12pm

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Australian singer/songwriter, guitarist and banjoist Alesa Lajana has delved deeply into Australia’s post colonisation history to create this diligently researched and heartfelt collection.
 
The CD is packaged in an insightful and aesthetically pleasing hard back booklet that places the tracks into context and provides a thought provoking and often sobering...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:10pm

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Like M&M’s in popcorn or fries dipped in ice cream, electronic musician Brightly’s latest LP One for Sorrow, Two For Joy is a peculiar clashing of musical flavours that will either charm or alarm you.
 
Reverberating with dewy chords, blustery synths and dreamy delay, it’s unsurprising to learn that this third crowd funded release from London based...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:08pm

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Over 12 years since the release of their last full length LP, 2004’s Cool to be You, everyone’s favourite scientist fronted, long running Californian punk rock band (sorry The Offspring, Bad Religion) is back with a new record filled with exactly what they’re known for. Establishing a formula long ago of fast songs about food and coffee, mid-tempo love songs, and tales of...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:06pm

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Following the success of their debut Barbed Wire Metal in 2011 and the Heart Racer EPin 2015,Elm Street are firing up the metal scene with their new album Knock Em Out…With A Metal Fist. It’s an adrenalin booster, with an explosion of twin guitar riffs and drums that instantly make you want to head bang.
 
The record starts off with Face The Reaper, which...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:04pm

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Former Bamboos buddies Graham Pogson (G) and Ella Thompson (L) are a band on a mission. The sound of their debut album lies somewhere in the realm of electro/funk/soul/R&B/pop, and while caring about fitting into an easily defined category is nowhere near the agenda, the duo's obvious goal appears to be getting people dancing.
 
This generous 14 song...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 9:03pm

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In between his quirky Zappa-esque debut Flex-Able and his commercial breakthrough, the technicolour shredfest Passion and Warfare, Steve Vai had a band called The Classified. For the 25th anniversary of P&W Vai decided to dust off material from this era and either finish them off or record brand new versions. Modern Primitive is the result, and if you’re expecting the...

Posted 13 Jul 2016 @ 4:39pm

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Gabriella Cohen’s debut album is an offering drenched in nostalgia, drawing influences from the lyrical content of Greenwich Village beat poets and early Californian psychedelic guitar bands in equal measure. That’s not to say that this album is just here pay homage to Cohen idols, she has her own charisma in spades.
 
Opening with Beaches, the album starts...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:40pm

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From the lo fi fuzz of opening track Little Arrow, Big Thief's debut marks a descent into its sweetly perturbed depths clearly. The world of Masterpiece is emotionally charged and deceptively complex for indie rock, but never melodramatic. It's an honest and disarming account of the pain that comes with the gradual erosion of innocence and love.
 
There's no...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:38pm

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Let’s face it, a blink-182 album without founding member and co-songwriter Tom Delonge was a risky proposition, especially over a decade beyond their commercial and creative peak of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Despite the band descending into a quagmire of breakups, uncertainty and lacklustre songwriting over the last 10 years, a new full length album featuring Alkaline...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:36pm

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Blood Orange is the brainchild of prolific New York songwriter Dev Hynes, formerly known as Lightspeed Champion, who has an impressive catalogue of writing credits on albums by Solange Knowles, FKA Twigs and Kylie Minogue. Freetown Sound, a heavy fusion of pretty much anything you can think of – funk, soul, jazz, blues, synth pop - attempts to cement Hynes as an artist...

Posted 6 Jul 2016 @ 10:34pm

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Mark ‘Diesel’ Lizotte was born in America, raised in Australia and has gone back and forth between the two countries various times since. He has a unique perspective on American music as an ideal and as a practical entity, and the ideas cross over frequently on Americana.
 
The concept is very clever: classic American tunes covered in styles other than that...

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